WEB105 » The Core Process
In order to stay organized and productive, you should break your web project into manageable phases of work.
Phase One: Defining the Project
Defining the project is the most intensive of the five phases.
Discovery is the sub-phase where you begin to understand the client, the project and needs of the users via:
- Client Survey – analyze the client, their industry and scope of the project
- Technical Specifications – analyze back-end programming, technical and application needs
- Maintenance Survey – discuss the future of the project after launch
- Client (user) Specifications – analyze audience capabilities
- User Profile – analyze the client’s audience in terms of demographics and informational needs
Clarification is the sub-phase where you deliver your terms of the project to the client via:
- Communication Brief – clarify goals and terms to the client
- Task Estimate – set the price of the project according to the tasks involved
- Schedule – outline the time line of the project with deliverable dates
Planning is the sub-phase where you start getting things together by assigning your project team and setting up staging areas.
Phase Two: Developing the site structure
Analyzing and addressing site structure is the first phase in creating a successful website.
A) Content View
In order to create good and relevant content, you will need to audit existing content and create an outline for text and images.
B) Site View
By addressing how the content of the site should be organized, we can show the client our proposed site structure via a sitemap of the site.
C) Page View
We must address the informational layout of content on each page via page wireframes for all template pages.
Phase Three: Visual Design
Your website is a product and is about and the user. Therefore, we need to remember that our concepts need to interact with technology and that our website is something that actually gets used.
After reviewing our site goals, we need to develop visual design concepts that are solution orientated and aesthetically pleasing
Once our visual design has been approved, we need to confirm the design with a working HTML protosite.
Phase Four: Production & Quality Assurance
Here is where you put all of the pieces together that you have designed, planned and gathered. Oh… yeah… and make sure it works.
Before handing the design off to the production team, we need to readdress the original expectations and scope of the project, establish guidelines and set up our file structure.
Now is the time to finally build our website by slicing & optimizing graphics, using clear standardized HTML code, light scripting and finally populating our pages with the content we probably do not have yet.
*Assuming that we are building a static site
By creating and implementing a Quality Assurance plan, we can make sure our site works like we had hoped.
Phase Five: Launch & Maintenance
Launch should not be the end—it is a transition into a entirely new workflow for the post-launch content.
If you are going to be delivering this site to a maintenance team you will need to complete a production style guide. You should also track and archive documents for your team and then conduct a post-mortem meeting—what went wrong?
Pull the switch, register the site with search engines and announce the live site for public viewing.
Hopefully you have made a good impression with your client and you will be updating the site from here on out—MONEY!